High score for inaugural gamescom

245,000 visitors make it largest event of its kind in the world

COLOGNE, Germany -- Some 245,000 people came to Cologne over the past five days to blast aliens, slay dragons and whack digital tennis balls across virtual courts at gamescom.

That high score makes the gaming trade fair, which wrapped Sunday, the largest event of its kind in the world.

While the bulk of the attendees were regular gamers, 458 companies from 31 countries set up shop for the inaugural gamescom. Organizers, the German game makers association BIU and trade fair the Koelnmesse hope to establish gamescom as the trade event on par with the Tokyo Game Show and L.A's E3 event.

Gamescom opened with the world premiere of the PlayStation 3 Slim and the announcement that Sony is dropping the price of its popular console to $299 to help boost holiday sales.

It closed with the gamescom awards, in which Blizzard Entertainment's sci-Fi title "StarCraft II -- Wings of Liberty" won the top, best-of-show award; Naughty Dog's PlayStation 3 adventure game "Uncharted 2: Among Thieves" taking the best console prize and "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" developed by Infinity Ward and published by Activision, winning the best PC game.

The 2010 gamescom will be held in Cologne Aug.18-22.